Battle of the Books

Fairfield Middle School?s two Battle of the Books teams and their coaches pose at the Great Prairie Area Education Agency Battle of the Books competition Thursday.

In no particular order, the fifth- and sixth-grade team includes Ashlynne Alexander, Harmony Bailey, Riley Jenkins, Grace Lu, Samu Shrestha, Emma Wendland and alternate Alysa Alexander. The seventh- and eighth-grade team members include: Katelyn Adam, Erin Epperson, Abby Ford, Olivia Sandbothe, Bradley Warnell, and alternate Karen Ehret. They were coached by Dee Ann Lantz, FMS teacher librarian, and Afton Hallauer, Fairfield Public Library?s youth librarian.

The avid readers read and studied 30 select books from varied authors, genres, time periods, and cultures to compete. This was a big task, but the students worked together to collectively read the titles -- meaning each student read a portion of the list, explained Lantz. The competition required persistence and study. Teams worked together for months to prepare for the event, building friendships and collaborative work skills.

At the competition, teams were allowed one hour to complete a written 80-question, short-answer test. While the tests were being scored, students enjoyed a presentation by Iowa author Delia Ray. Students were able to purchase books by the author and have them autographed. The FMS team members had a great day and are already excited to compete in next year?s Battle of the Books, said Lantz.